Community Holds Food Bank for UPMC Workers in Need

Leslie Poston - Unit Secretary UPMC Presby

Leslie Poston – Unit Secretary UPMC Presby

Responding to the need of UPMC workers to rely on food banks, nearly 200 UPMC workers, faith and labor leaders, and community allies joined Congressman Mike Doyle on February 3 to donate food to workers at the city’s largest employer.

Even with $1.3 billion in profits in the last three years, $4 billion in reserves and 22 top executives paid $47.5 million a year, UPMC pays many of its employees so little that they face constant financial insecurity. Even working full-time, many are forced to rely on taxpayer programs—like food stamps, housing subsidies and even Medicaid—just to get by.

UPMC workers like Leslie Poston keep the heart and lung transplant unit running smoothly. She has been at UPMC for ten years but even working full time hours, she only brings home about $300 dollars a week. Because of UPMC’s poverty wages, she must use food banks to keep food on her table.

Community donates food to the workers of UPMC.

Community donates food to the workers of UPMC.

“Last week I saw UPMC’s giant ad in the paper saying UPMC gives to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank so that people in Pittsburgh can eat,” said Leslie Poston “This is a great thing. Generosity towards people in need is really beautiful. But the ad also struck a nerve, because I AM one of the people who uses a food bank. So are many of my coworkers.”

The reality is UPMC doesn’t pay its service sector workers, their largest number of workers, enough to sustain themselves or their families. Many experts agree and say that UPMC pays up to 30% less than what someone like Leslie would need to earn to support her family.

Congressman Mike Doyle calls on UPMC to create good jobs and grow the middle class.

Congressman Mike Doyle calls on UPMC to create good jobs and grow the middle class.

Congressman Doyle knows that the road to ending income inequality in Pittsburgh goes through UPMC and called on the global healthcare giant to use its wealth and power to help the people who made it the success it is today live the American dream.

“The road to ending income inequality in Pittsburgh begins at UPMC. Our state’s largest private employer has the power and ability to lift thousands of workers out of poverty and into the middle class,” Said Congressman Doyle “By working together with your employees you can grow the middle class and strengthen the economy for all of Pittsburgh.”

UPMC needs to do more for the community it serves, and Reverend Eric McIntosh, from St. James Episcopal Church, called on UPMC to remember its charitable mission and to put people ahead of profits.

“UPMC is morally bankrupt. UPMC has lost sight of its charitable mission, and its business practices are putting undue financial pressures on families relying on a paycheck from them and for Pittsburgh families picking up the slack where UPMC leaves off,” said Rev Eric. McIntosh of St. James Episcopal Church “UPMC is defining jobs and the economy in Pittsburgh, but not in a way that helps our families. We need UPMC to put people ahead of profits.”

Good Jobs. Healthy Pittsburgh.

In The News:

Rep. Mike Doyle Joins Workers Rallying Against UPMC – WESA FM

UPMC Now the “Enemy of Civil Rights”

You read that right.

And Pittsburgh civil rights leaders are angry. That’s why they’re taking action against what Vic Walczak of the ACLU has called UPMC’s attempt to nuke our country’s equal opportunity regulations.

Take Action – Sign The Petition And Tell UPMC: Hands Off Equal Opportunity

As a federal contractor, UPMC is required to abide by …. But UPMC doesn’t want to. And so they have sued in federal court to invalidate … not just for themselves, but for ALL employers in every state. If they succeed? Forty years of settled regulations protecting women and people of color?  Gone. Done and dusted.

“UPMC’s refusal to comply with the reporting requirements is bad enough, but their effort to nuke out of existence this important and long-standing anti-discrimination protection makes them civil rights enemies.” Vic Walczak Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania

“UPMC’s refusal to comply with the reporting requirements is bad enough, but their effort to nuke out of existence this important and long-standing anti-discrimination protection makes them civil rights enemies.”
Vic Walczak Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania

“This important anti-discrimination protection, in effect since Lyndon Johnson’s executive order in 1965, has helped reduce discrimination in programs nationwide, but one field that still needs major improvement is healthcare,” said Vic Walczak, Legal Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania. “UPMC’s refusal to comply with the reporting requirements is bad enough, but their effort to nuke out of existence this important and long-standing anti-discrimination protection makes them civil rights enemies.”

“People fought long and hard for these protections that UPMC is threatening,” said Susan Frietsche for the Women’s Law Project. “Equal employment law ensures fairness in the workplace. If this legal challenge is successful it could hurt thousands of working families in Pittsburgh and across the country.”

We’re calling on UPMC to withdraw this radical and ill-advised suit. It’s time for UPMC to stop dodging responsibility for its actions. As our state’s largest employer, UPMC should be supporting, not fighting, its employees’ rights—rights to a fair workplace and rights to come together to improve jobs.

Sign the petition, and tell UPMC: Hands Off Equal Opportunity!

You’ll be joining civil rights leaders like:
Rep. Jake Wheatley
19th District, Allegheny

Rep. Erin Molchaney
22nd District, Allegheny

Pittsburgh City Council:
Bruce Kraus, President
Daniel Lavelle
Darlene Harris
Natalia Rudiak
Deb Gross
Dan Gilman
Corey O’Conner

Allegheny County Council:
Amanda Green-Hawkins

Faith Leaders:
Reverend Glenn Grayson
Wesley center AME Zion Church

Reverend Rodney Lyde
Baptist Temple Church

Reverend Eric McIntosh
St. James Episcopal Church

Community Groups:

NAACP Pittsburgh Branch
Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network
Service Employees International Union
ACLU-PA Greater Pittsburgh Chapter
Women’s Law Project
Pennsylvania NOW

First Pittsburgh NOW Chapter
East End Pittsburgh NOW Chapter
Squirrel Hill NOW Chapter
People for the American Way-PA
National Council of Jewish Women-PA
Black Law Student Association
University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Jasiri X

UPMC: Keeping Workers Poor by Keeping Workers Down

Every day and around the clock, thousands of UPMC workers report to their jobs at our city’s largest employer.

And every day, UPMC tries to stop them from lifting themselves out of poverty by pursuing a basic right: to join together to form a union.

Moshe Marvit, labor and employment Fellow at The Century Foundation, show us the scope, scale and meaning of UPMC’s aggression against workers in a new report

Marcus Ptomey, a long-time UPMC employee who works as a Unit Technician, is one of many workers who talked to Marvit about their daily struggles. “I work alongside nurses to help give my patients the best care they can get. But like many of my co-workers I struggle to make ends meet because the pay is so low. I was eager to join with my co-workers to form our union so that the priorities of working families are heard at our city’s largest employer, but UPMC didn’t like that.”

 In fact, UPMC fought back with a systematic campaign of harassment, intimidation, discrimination and even firing. UPMC has been supported in its efforts by the anti-union National Right to Work Foundation, whose publications the hospital has circulated in its facilities;

Marvit documents the unprecedented scope of UPMC’s anti-worker campaign, detailing over 100 alleged violations of workers’ rights in one year.

As the area’s largest employer, UPMC sets a standard for jobs and labor. Many UPMC workers are paid so little that they are forced to rely on public assistance like food stamps. When they’ve come together to have a voice on the job, UPMC has retaliated. UPMC’s anti-worker campaign hurts jobs, puts a strain on the economy and could threaten other workers’ rights in the region.

With a historic trial starting Wednesday, Marvit’s report shows us just how widespread and significant UPMC’s anti-union campaign is—and how it affects us all.

Rep. Mike Doyle Joins Workers Rallying Against UPMC – WESA FM

Leslie Poston said she is unable to make ends meet on the wages she earns at UPMC, and that she has to visit food banks in order to put food on the table. She held up a full page ad that UPMC took out in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week, which said “UPMC is one of the largest community supporters of Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.”

 

http://wesa.fm/post/rep-mike-doyle-joins-workers-rallying-against-upmc